State Rep. Kathleen Clyde (D-Kent) today denounced the School Employees Retirement System (SERS) of Ohio’s decision to raise salaries of its employees, including highly paid executives, by 3 percent while a three-year freeze on cost of living adjustments (COLA) for retirees is in place.
“The decision to raise salaries for executives who make over $250,000 annually while there is a three-year freeze on retirees’ cost of living adjustments leaves thousands of Ohio workers in dire economic straits,” said Representative Clyde. “Highly paid executives are giving themselves raises while forcing retirees to tighten their belts. Ohioans deserve better care for its workers and retirees and better stewardship of retirement system dollars.”
See the letter below:
July 13, 2018
Richard Stensrud, Executive Director
SERS of Ohio
300 East Broad Street
Columbus, OH 43215
Dear Director Stensrud,
I write to express my concern over the SERS board’s decision to increase salaries by 3% for executives making between $250,000 and $320,000 annually. Just last year, the board voted to freeze retired workers’ cost of living adjustments (COLA) for three years. While executives will see an additional $625 and $800 in their paychecks every month, the COLA freeze approved in October 2017 continues to squeeze retirees’ income as the cost of living rises.
I am deeply disappointed with this decision. It is a careless allocation of resources that shows disregard for the basic living needs of workers who served Ohio’s children and communities. Ohioans who worked hard and played by the rules are living on too small pensions which no longer reflect the rising cost of living, and they struggle to pay for basic necessities such as groceries, gas, utilities, and healthcare.
I urge the SERS Board of Trustees to rethink its decision and prioritize the needs of the workers who dedicated decades of their lives to caring for our school children. Thank you for your time and careful consideration.